Annals of the DeRosset Family
as compiled from original documents by
Catherine DeRosset Meares
Part A: Pages 1 - 33 of a total of 91
Scanned from a copy of the book in the possession of
James Bailey deRosset ofAsheville, North Carolina, 2012
The DeRosset Family
Huguenot Immigrants to the Province of North Carolina
Early in the Eighteenth Century
COMPILED FROM ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS BY
CATHERINE DEROSSET MEARES
Go fall thy sons! Instruct them what & deht
They owe their ancestors, ami make them swear
To pay it. by transmitting down entire
The sacred heritage to 'which themselves -were born.
THE n. L, SRVAN COMPANY
COLUMBIA, S . C .
To the revered memory of a long line of wortky
ancestry these pages are inscribed* by one of their
descendants, who has a worthy pride in the record
of exalted piety and steadfast faith, of public service
and private virtues which they have left for the imi-
tation of generations yet to come.
In offering to the DeRossets of my own and future generations this memorial
of our forefathers, I do not claim for it any literary merit, nor do I invoke either
criticism or indulgence. It is simply an effort to preserve in permanent form
some records of the olden time, which were laid aside long ago for safe-keeping,
and were forgotten or neglected as the years passed on.
After my father's death, in 1897, the old house, which in its century of exist-
ence had sheltered sis generations, was to pass out of the family. These papers
were found and brought from their hidden recesses, and as a labor of love I
undertook the task, which has proved a solace and comfort in times of sorrow and
It may be thought that I have gone too far into historical detail— familiar to
our elders, it is true; but my hope is to interest our young people in the story of
their ancestors, and thereby to inspire them with a love of general historical study
It may be pertinent to state that a short time ago some of the documents herein
contained were, by permission, printed in the magazine of the University of
North Carolina (The Jas. Sprunt Historical Monograph, No. IV.), under the
title of "The DeRosset Papers." They aroused unlooked-for interest and called
forth many requests that have induced this publication. C. DeR. Meares,
"The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God."
"Their names shall be had in everlasting remembrance,"
A daughter of an ancient, honorable house, who, standing on the threshold
of a new century, pauses for a backward glance down the vista of past years,
finds an inviting field of retrospect and research ever widening before her.
In mental vision she sees a stately procession of dames and sires, whose names
have been made familiar to her in the oft-told tales of later generations. Imagi-
nation would weave around them many a romance of love and devotion, of chiv-
alry and heroism, but the bare facts of their story have a sufficient charm of their
own, which, illumined with vivid reality by the flash-lights of legend and tradi-
tion, makes truth seem to her more interesting, if not more strange, than fiction.
The ties of kindred are drawn closer by the simple act of Remembrance, and at
its tender touch a fresh sensation is born within her, kindling the desire to per-
petuate their memory as her heart echoes the words of Solomon the wise,
"The glory of children are their Fathers."
* * # * * * # * * *
The principle of reverence for ancestors seems to be implanted in the human
heart. Men in all ages and in all lands have manifested it. In some form or
other it was embodied in all the ancient myths and religions, and the Oriental
Nations still maintain it in their systems of ancestral worship. The thoughtful
philosopher of old, groping in the darkness of a hopeless future, asking
"whither am I going?" turned with scarce less earnestness to the dim past for a
solution of the counter-mystery, "whence came I, and my fathers before me?"
It has been reverently remarked that there was one point of human pride and
greatness that even our Lord in His humanity did not disdain — His illustrious
lineage ! Emptied of His Divine glory, and taking upon Himself the form of a
servant, choosing for His earthly abode the home of a village carpenter, and for
His Virgin-Mother, a lowly maid of Nazareth, yet it was divinely ordered that
that most blessed among women, should, for her Christ-Child, claim descent
through a long line of Israel's Kings, that so her Son might be known to the
world He came to save as "the Son of David, the King," the Son of "Abraham,
the Friend of God."
ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY
With such precedent and example, what wonder is it that we should love to
search the records of the past and recall the noble characters whose worthy
deeds have bequeathed to us the heritage of "a good name, which is better than
great riches !" Well may the hearts of each successive generation thrill with the
enthusiasm of reverent love and pride, and be stimulated to imitate the virtues
and emulate the good works of those who have "gone before."
In the last half -century there has been a remarkable awakening of interest in
genealogical research. Societies have been organized whose avowed object is to
preserve the memory of ancestors, to collect data concerning their genealogy and
history, and to perpetuate the part they took in the founding and upbuilding of
the New World. Coming to its shores from every enlightened nation, these
immigrants found generous welcome and secure refuge, and well did they reward
her fostering care by bringing to our fair land all that was noble and best of the
Old World's civilizations.
Of all classes of men who have helped to make this nation, none can boast a
prouder ancestry than the descendants of those French Huguenots, who for many
weary years suffered persecution for conscience's sake ; who with steadfast faith
and patient heroism "endured grief, suffering wrongfully f who fought valiantly
for the Truth as God revealed it to them, and who, when Hope had sunk into
Despair, abandoned worldly honors and possessions and fled from kindred and
country to make new homes among strangers in a far-off land and to do their
parts as worthy citizens of the "Land of the Free." History tells that the
story of Huguenot endurance is among the most heroic and remarkable records
of religious persecution, and that their noble qualities of heart and mind, purified
and strengthened by affliction, assured for them glad welcome and made them a
blessing and honor to every home of their adoption.
Holding in reverent love the honored name of one of those Huguenot refugees,
I deem it due to his memory that his descendants should possess such records of
the past as are still extant. The "moth and rust" of Time are fast doing their
destructive work upon the old documents, and all that remain are necessarily held
in safe-keeping and are not available for frequent reference. Therefore, failing
one better fitted for the work, and deeply feeling my inability to do it justice, I
make this attempt to compile the existing records for the benefit of those of this
and later generations who may feel interested in them ; earnestly hoping that in
years to come my imperfect tribute to the memory of our forefathers may be
revised and improved upon by some later scion of the good old family of
DeRosset. C. DeR. M.
Wilmington, N. C, 1906.
The Early Records
Ancient Genealogical Lines,
"He who has no ancestors thinks but little of it, but he who has rejoices in it."
In the public "Acts" of the Southeastern Provinces of France the deRosset
name is variously written deRozet, deRosset, deRouzet, deRousset, &c, but most
frequently in its present form; always, however, ending in "et" it was pro-
nounced deRossay, never as now, as though spelled "ette." It was a numerous
family, with ramifications in various localities. Records of three distinct
branches exist, each of which bears internal evidence of relationship to the two
others, showing conclusively that they were all from a common stock, though the
origin of the family is lost in the darkness and turmoil of mediseval ages. All
that we know of its early history we owe to the untiring interest and research
of my brother, the late Louis H. deRosset (1840-1875). Residing in England
for several years after the close of the War Between the States, the opportunity
was offered him of searching into the Government records and those of the
French Huguenot Church in London, and also for a visit to the south of France
to examine the State papers in the archives of several cities where our ancestors
had resided. Louis was a good French scholar and, though his time was limited,
the discoveries he made proved to be of great interest and value, and encourage
the hope that future research may bring to light other documents of still greater
importance. Copies were made (and attested officially) of records at Mont-
pelier, Avignon and elsewhere, and memoranda taken of detached items wherever
our name, or names of other families connected with ours, were found. These
documents give undoubted proof of the high social rank of the deRossets for
many centuries and establish beyond dispute our claim to be of the same blood.
Tradition had taught us that we were of Swiss origin, and again that we were of
French descent, both of which statements are substantiated by these papers, and
their discrepancy explained.
Of these the most interesting to us is copied from "L'Histoire de la Noblesse
de Languedoc," the home of our immediate ancestors.
deRosset m Proveme,
Translation. — "An ancient manuscript in the archives of Aries relates that
the deRosset family is originally from Switzerland; and that Nicolas (or
ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY
'Coulet') deRosset, who is the first of whom we know anything, left that country
in the fourteenth century with the other 'gentlemen' who were faithful to the
house of Austria, when the Swiss 'threw off the foreign yoke.' Nicolas came
at first to dwell at Lyons, from there to Toulon, then to Aries and finally to Salon,
where Amedee (1), Bertrand (1), Amedee (2), and Bertrand (2), his descend-
ants, carried on an honorable commerce in order to repair the losses that Nicolas,
their ancestor, had incurred in leaving the great possessions he had held in the
"Antoine deRosset, son of Bertrand (2), and another Antoine, his first cousin,
applied to Francis I. for letters of rehabilitation of their nobility, which were
granted to them by that King, February 13, 1515, 'Propter antiquam nobili-
tatem,' and those same letters, which are registered at Aix, in the Chambre des
Comtes (Regitre Piscis), also tell that Antoine inherited all the property of his
cousin, and left by Marie de Bellis (his first wife) one daughter, of whom
nothing is known.
"Antoine married (2d) Antoinette de Silvy, mother of Gaspard (1), who suc-
ceeded, and of several other sons, who died in the service of the King during the
wars of the League.
"Gaspard (1) was Governor of the Chateau de Vernegues, and had by Jeanne
de Damian- Vernegues (1) Thomas, (2) Mathieu, an officer in the troops of
the Republic of Venice, and (3) Charles, Lieut.-Col. of the Regiment of Provence
and Commandant of the Fortress of Salces, in 1631.* The following year he
defended the Chateau de Beaucaire against the Duke de Montinorenci, 'who
dared not attack it, knowing his valor.' The King in recompense of his services
created him in 1647 Field Marshal of his Armies, and in 1648 he was entrusted
with the command of the coasts of Provence from Toulon to Antibes. The
Queen Mother thanked him for the zeal he had shown for the welfare and tran-
quility of the State, by a letter which is preserved in the original among the
archives of the family.
"I'homas deRosset, Co-Seigneur d'Auronc, married Blanche deRenaud (des
Seigneurs d'Aleric), as per contract of 1600, and left (1) Gaspard 2d, who
succeeded (2) Charles (received Knight of Malta in 1640), and was Capt. of
*SaIees was one of the most important of the frontier fortresses of France, the command of
which was an honor eagerly sought by military men of rank. Situated at the foot of the
Pyrenees near the Mediterranean, it guarded the entrance to the little Kingdom of Roussillon,
and was called "the Key of Spain" on the side of Catalonia. In the long continued wars be-
tween France and Spain its possession was of the greatest importance to both nations, who
alternately besieged and held it.
ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY
Cavalry in the regiment of Gassion, afterwards an exempt of the body-guard,
and died in 1680, after having been given a 'Commandery.'
"(3) Andre (received Knight at the same time as his brother) died during the
wars of the Piedmont. (4 and 5) Marie and Marthe deRosset, who married into
the houses of deCordes and deDamian.
"Gaspard (£) married Catherine de Milamy, and had by her, among other
children, Charles and Blanche ; the latter also married into the family deCordes.
"Charles married, in 1686, Madeleine deTorcnc, by whom he had (1) Francois,
(2) Louis and (3) Antoine. The last two died Captains in the Regiment of
Taillard. Charles was maintained in his nobility by judgment of M. le Bret in
"Francois, after having served as Captain in the same regiment for thirty-five
years, was 'retired' at Senas in 1740, with a pension from the King, under the
Cross of St. Louis, and married in 1743 Claire de Faudron, daughter of 'the
noble Andre Joseph de Faudron, Seigneur de Taillades.' "
The above has this endorsement:
Copie de ArtefeuUle. — Histoire de la Noblesse de Provence, 2 torn., pp. 339,
&c, Avignon, 1776.
Seigneurs et Barons de la Garde en Calvere et en Quercy.
Coat of Arms.
"D' Azure a un Lion d'or rampant arme ; couroune et langue de gueule, tenant
dans les pattes de devant une Hache d'armes aussi d'or, le manche en bas."
Translation. — "The house dcRozet, distinguished for military services, whose
name is in the 'Acts' indifferently written deRozet, deRouzet, deRoset, de-
Rousset and deRosset, is without doubt one of the oldest of Quercy.* The
original titles which they produce are of sufficient proof, notwithstanding that
the fine cannot be traced certainly beyond the middle of the fourteenth century.
The Chateau de la Garde, which from time immemorial belonged to the MM.
deRozet, was taken and pillaged during the civil wars by judgment of the
Seneschal deLauzcrte, January 10, 1640, which misfortune takes it out of their
"Quercy and Rouergue were neighboring Countships in the Duchy of Aquitaine. The chief
town of Quercy was Cahors, that of Rouergue was Rhodez. The whole was then a part of
Languedoe. In the thirteenth century they lapsed to the Crown and their names can now
only be found in an ancient atlas or history. (Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Toulouse.")
ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY
power, in common with other houses reputed the most ancient, to trace a lonser
The historian, La Faille, in his "Traits de la Noblesse des Capitouls de
Toulouse»f (1707), pp. 106, &c, also places this house among the most ancient
of Quercy. "The Rozets," he says, "Seigneurs de la Garde and of other prop-
erty ,n Quercy, very old 'gentlemen,' were, by report of the historians of the first
Crusade (1096), among the lords who made the passage across the sea. Their
principal wealth descended through a daughter in the family of the old Barons
de Sux (or Suzech), to whom succeeded the Counts de Rastignac." Some
detached memoranda of this branch will be found interesting.
"In 1263, one Segui deRozet, assisted at an 'Act.' "
"In 1271, Messire G. deRozet, Chevalier, in his will requests to be buried in
the cemetery of Ste. Marie de Lauzerte. He leaves to his wife (la Dame Guil-
harde, 8000 'fols de Cahors,' 'being the dowry received with her.' Their
children are mentioned: (1) Segui, (2) Andrait, married Jean Fuzel, (3) Ar-
mande, (4) Finas, (5) Philippe, and (6) Guiscarde. All are daughters except
the first, Segui, who in 1260 married and had issue, (1) Arnaud, (2) Fabre, (3)
Bertrand, (4) Faure, (5) Francois (Arch Priest).
"In 1279, Bd. deRozet made his will, leaving as sole heir Arnaud deRozet—
probably his nephew— who married Dame Martine. She afterwards married
le noblehomme Messire B. de St. Geniez, Chevalier, &c.
"In 1689, Pierre deRozet married Marie de la Boissiere, and had issue
Joseph, Arnaud and others." But these bring us to a date more recent than
the Revocation and, therefore, the record has no further interest for us.
Two items, however, should be noticed as referring to Protestant members of
the family prior to the Revocation.
"In 1614, Paul deRousset, Sgr, de Cluzeau, m. the dau. of Francois d'Alzac
and Anne de Seyrat." The place is not mentioned, but the record says "they are
October 28, 1645, Pierre de Rousset, Sgr. d'Elcasse, m. Marguerite de Tou-
louse, dau. of the Marquis de Toubuse-Lantrec, Sgr. de St. Geniez, Baron de
Cesterols and Seneschal de Castres, "one of the strongest Protestants."
fToulouse had twelve Capitularies or Consuls. Early in the fourteenth century they took the
name of donun, de capitulof a little later, that of "capitulum nobilium." In the sixteenth
century by a false delation, the ancient "domini de capitulo" was changed into the modern
ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY
de ROSSET de FLEURY.
Coat of Arms.
Ecartele au premier d'argent a. un boquet de trois roses de gueule, la tige et
les feuilles d'or, qui est "deRosset."
au deuxime, de gueule, au lion d'or, qui est "deLasset."
au troiseme ecartele d'argent et de sable, qui est "de la Tude."
au quatrienie d'azur a, trois roses dechiquier d'or, qui est de "Rocozel."
sur la tout d'azur a trois roses d'or, qui est "de Fleury."
This document is translated from "de la Roque Noblesse de Languedoc."
Montpelier; Felix Seguin, Libraire-Editeur, 1160, pp. 449-451, No. 482. It
was obtained through the Count d'Aragon and by the courtesy of M. Marzials,
pastor of the French Huguenot Church in London, was loaned to Louis H.
deRosset, January SO, 1866, and copied by himself.
The house deRosset is originally from Rouergue. The first known founder
is Philippe deRosset, Sgr. and Baron de Monpaon, Due de Vabres, who married
about 1400 Marguerite deRoquefeuil.
Philippe (2) m. first, Elizabeth de Premillac, and second, Perronne de Pavie,
and had issue, (1) Pierre I., Sgr. dc la Vallette and Co-Sgr. de Soubez, who mar-
ried Blai'de de Tranquier. From this marriage was born Pierre (2), who was
the founder of the line proven before M. deEezons (d'Hozier J. R. 471).
Pwrre deRosset (2) Sgr. de Brignac de la Vernede, m. November 6, 1504,
Isabelle deLasset. Issue: (1) Pierre, who followed (2) Thomas, and (3)
Etienne, Minister of the Church in Lodeve.
Pierre deRosset (3) Sgr. de Brignac de la Vernede and de Gorgas, m. Mar-
guerite de Chavagnac. Issue: (1) Michel, who m. December 9, 1550, Gabrielle
deGep, (2) Jean, who succeeded, (3) Etienne, (4) Jacquette, (5) Franchise, (6)
Jean deRosset, Equerry, Sgr. de Gorgas and de la Vernede, Capt, com-
manding a company of warriors (1591), m. March 3, 1567, Etiennette de
Vissec de la Tude. Had issue: (1) Francois, who succeeded (2) Souveraine,
who m. Amaud deNeffies, (3) Angele, who in. Elie de Soumaitre, (4) Marquise,
who m. Francois deCannac.
Francois deRosset, Sgr. de Gorgas and de la Vernede, m. July 25, 1598,
Catherine deRocozel, heiress of her house, had many children, of whom Jean
deRosset, Sgr. de Ceilhes, de Gorgas, de la Vernede and de Rocozel, "Homme
d'armes" in the company of Sgr. d'Arpajon, assisted at the siege of Salces in
Roussillon; m. August 11, 1636, Anne de Paschal de Saint Juery. Issue: (1)
ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY
Jean Louis, Minister of the Church in Lodeve, Arch Deacon of St. Fulcrand,
(2) Bernardin, who succeeded, (3) Guillaume, (4) Francois, (5) Catherine,
who m. Pons de la Treille, (6, 7 and 8) Antoinette, Marie and Jeanne, Ursuline
nuns at Lodeve.
Bernardin deRosset, Sgr. de Ceilhes, de Rocozel, de Bonloc, de Gorgas and
de la Vernede (maintained in his nobility with his father by royal decree of
August 29, 1669), in, January 24, 1680, Marie de Fleury — sister of the Car-
dinal. Issue: (1) Jean Hercule, who succeeded, (2) Henri, Minister of the
Church in Lodeve, (3) Pons, Governor of Soumieres (1729), Lieut.-Gen. of
the King's Armies (1734), Governor of Roussillon (1736), Grand Cross of the
Order of St. Louis (1737), (4) Philippe Antoine, (5, 6, 7) Marie, Helen and
Anne, (8) Marguerite, who m. June 28, 1797, Jean Baptiste de Fleury, Capt.
in the Queen's Regiment.
The record is continued to 1815, when the direct line of deRosset de Fleury
became extinct by the death, in Paris, of Andre Hercule, who left no issue.
Cardinal de Fleury was a native of Lodeve. His eminent position in Church
and State enabled him to advance the interests of his sister's family. As the
record relates : "La Maison deRosset ayant herite de la f aveur accordee au Car-
dinal ;" his nephew, Jean Hercule deRosset, in 1730, obtained the changing of the
Barony of Perpignan, in Languedoc, into a Dukedom, under the name de
Fleury. The coat of arms we have described is not of de Fleury, but of deRosset
— the quarterings being all of families allied to that of deRosset prior to the
marriage of Bernadin deRosset and Marie de Fleury (1680).
As this marriage took place only five years before the Revocation and the exile
of our ancestor, we claim no inheritance of de Fleury blood, though it is said
that the "Pierre" who founded this line was also the founder of our branch of the
family. The spelling of the name is identical with our own, which increases the
probability of the statement.
We must bear in mind the historical fact that the bitter hatred of the Protest-
ants required all traces of them to be obliterated. Their very names were blotted
out, their estates confiscated, marriages annulled and children declared illegiti-
mate. As late as 1866, my brother found it impossible to induce the people to
talk of the Huguenots and their times.
He visited, among other cities, Uzes, Nimes, Montpelicr, Cette, Avignon,
Narbonne and Bordeaux, and found it the same everywhere.
It will be observed that many sons of the deRosset de Fleury line were abbots
and ministers of the Church of Rome, and that numerous of their maidens lived
and died nuns in the Convents of Lodeve.
ANNALS OF THE BE ROSSET FAMILY
Still another and more illustrious line, in which the name deRossct appears,
was found by my brother Louis. It is that of St. Louis, Roi de France (1226-
1270), who by Marguerite de Provence had many descendants. Their oldest
son, Robert of France, Comte de Clermont (d. 1317), m. Beatrix de Bourgoyne
Dame de Bourbon, from whom came the Bourbon Kings, who in 1593, in the
person of Henry IV (of Navarre), ascended the throne. Among the names of
distinguished men who married daughters of this line (the Dukes of Savoie
and de Montmorenci, the Count de la Marche, &c), is found that of Georges
deRosset, Sgr. de Saint Sauveur — his daughter, Laure deRosset de St. Sauveur,
m. Gabriel, Sgr. de Chateau Blanc, and their daughter, Diane de Chateau
Blanc, m. Charles de Vissec, Marquis de Gorgas, &c.
My purpose in transcribing all these, apparently useless, papers, is both to
preserve in their entirety my brother's notes and memoranda, which may some day
be valuable, and also as sufficient proofs of the nobility and social standing of
the deRosset family in their native land.
But, after all, interesting though they are, they do not give us the missing
link which would prove for us a direct genealogical line through all those
The Old Documents.
In 1840, Wilmington was visited by a disastrous conflagration, which destroyed
much of the business portion of the town, including my grand-father's office,
where were stored the old French Bible, containing dates of births, marriages,
deaths, &c, important family records, and priceless memorials brought to this
country by our refugee ancestor. By some happy chance a few French papers
were not among them, and from those that remain, together with traditions
handed down by several sucessive long-lived generations, we get a fair outline of
our family history for some 300 years. Of these extant papers the oldest is
"The Mathieu Document."
It is inscribed on parchment (of asses' skin), in elaborate chirography, with
characters so minute and contractions so numerous, that the efforts of the
best French scholars never were successful in deciphering it. Only the name
"Mathieu Rosset" could be distinguished. So its purport remained a mystery
for many generations, until in 1898 I determined, if possible, to find an expert
who could interpret and translate it. At Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore,
Md., I met in the Assistant Librarian, Mr. Melvin Brandow, the man I had been
seeking, and I record his name here, as a small but grateful tribute to his kindness
and courtesy as well as to his success. It proved to be the official appointment of
Mathieu Rosset as Secretary in Ordinary to the Due d'Anjou. As it must
remain unintelligible to any but an expert, it may be interesting to point out
some of its notable points, that we may get a taste of its historic flavor.
The Duke d'Anjou was the youngest of the four sons of Henri II. and Cath-
erine de Medici. The three oldest reigned successively Kings of France, viz:
Francis II., Charles IX. and Henry III., the last of whom was still on the
throne, fulfilling his destiny as the last of the Valois, and the weakest and most
ignoble of Kings. These all died childless, and if Anjou had outlived his
brother, he, too, would have reigned.
The Queen-Mother used all her arts to bring about the marriage of the heir
presumptive to Elizabeth of England, but without avail. He was weak and
vacillating and at one time openly espoused the cause of the Protestants and
-" « -
tf r a-
i 1 •
<i f c - "-- - ' -> « i . r*- £
rs »( i
l : f
* J 1
^^ 'c ■'- • ' ' ': % " * T «?J
5 " 3
r * *.
h 't - : ' * *j I-
,v |§r J *&• lis 1 £
ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY
Henry of Navarre, but was brought back to his allegiance through the mediation
of his mother and the tempting offer of the Dukedom of Anjou, a higher dignity
than that of d'Alencon which he held.
The appointment of Mathieu is made, May 18th, 1581, through Christoffe
de Thou, Councillor of State and first President of the Parliament of Paris. He
was the father of Jacques de Thou, Royal Librarian and famous as the great
Latin historian of his time.
The document bears the autograph "Francoys"— he is called "Son of France
and only brother of the King"— and it is "Given at Alencon," &c. On the
reverse is this endorsement, "On July 10th following, 1582, Mathieu deRosset
took the required oath and entered upon the duties of his office with all its favors,
privileges, rights, &c, &c."
THE REVOCATION OF THE EDICT OF NANTES.
May 2, 1685.
"God sifted a whole nation that He might send choice seed into this wilderness."
When Louis XIV. (1643-1715) signed the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes,
he little knew what a blessing he was bestowing upon other nations at the expense
of his own fair realm. It was the virtual banishment of 50,000 families of the
best blood of the kingdom. It was no mob of the commune, no motley crowd of
the offscouring of the people, that were driven from their homes; but a vast
throng of peaceable, industrious citizens of every degree ; skilled artisans, manu-
facturers and agriculturists; men of military renown; distinguished men of
letters, art and science ; families of culture and refinement, who planted in every
land of their refuge the good seed of a fresh, wholesome and vigorous civilization.
The Huguenot movement did not begin among the poor unlettered class, but
among the noble, learned and distinguished of the Provinces. The cruelties of
persecution weighed heavily upon those of the South, for they were the strong-
holds of the "diabolical faith." The leaders of "the new religion" were men of
rank and political and military distinction. Among them were the illustrious
princes and statesmen of the house of Conde ; the wise and good Duke de Sully ;
the great Marshal Turenne ; the pure and pious Admiral Gaspard de Coligny,
the immortal proto-martyr of St. Bartholeinew's Eve; the renowned warrior,
Frederick Armand, Duke de Schomberg, and others of the same type. Their
clergy were learned, eloquent, zealous and pious ; their followers were brave and
courageous, consecrated to their cause and ready to die in its defense. Prince
and peasant alike rallied around the white plume of Navarre, and the standards
ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY
of other leaders, to fight the good fight of a true Faith against ecclesiastical
tyranny and political despotism; for political antagonism and ambition, rather
than religious zeal, was the real motive power of all that warfare and persecution.
Edicts and counter-edicts were promulgated to suit the temper, or to advance
the interests and ambitious designs of the reigning King and his sycophants.
The Edict of Nantes, issued by Henry IV., April 15, 1598, was but a hollow
truce, continually broken by massacres and unjust impositions, though it con-
tinued nominally in force for eighty-seven years, when the "Revocation" was
sent forth to publish to the world the shame and dishonor of a great and powerful
nation. The evil influence behind the throne in bringing about this infamy was
Louvois le Tellier, "the evil genius of France" — "Louvois le Terrible, whom all
men hated," yet "the greatest war minister of history." His cruelty inaugu-
rated the fearful Dragonnades, and his work was followed up so unsparingly by
persecution and banishment, that the year 1685 came to be fitly called "the era
of the depopulation of France." The danger menacing the nation was met by
a decree forbidding emigration under heavy penalties, and the poor hunted
victims were forced to live in utter seclusion in their homes, or driven into dens
and caves of the earth.
Among those who left France immediately after the Revocation was Louis
deRousset. It does not appear that any other members of his family went with
him into exile, which constrains us to believe that as a family the deRossets were
not Protestants. Louis writes, in an extant letter : "I left France because I would
not be made a Papist of" — implying that family pressure may have striven to
keep him in the Roman obedience.
His wife's family were Protestants, but his parents died before his marriage,
and we know not whether they were of the "new" faith, or whether his conversion
was due to the influence of his wife and her people.
It would naturally be supposed that among so numerous a family others of his
kindred, if of the same faith, would have accompanied the lonely exile. But
history tells us that families were divided one against another then, as ia all
times of civil and religious wars. Separation from those we love is one of the
bitterest of the trials of the sufferer for conscience sake.
K ' i> »
'"- r, '- -
I 3* I
ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY
The Huguenot Exile.
Louis deRousset, born (approximately) in 1645, was the son of Louis de-
Rousset, Docteur en Droits, and the Lady Catherine de Moynier, de la Ville
dUzes. He married (by contract of February 10th, 1671) the Lady GabrieUe
de Gondin, also of la Ville d'Uzes, daughter of the late Philippe de Gondin and
Lady Anne de Fontf roide. The said Anne de Fontfroide was the daughter of
Maitre Antoine de Fontfroide, Treasurer of the King's domain in the Sene-
sclmussce de Nines, and the Lady Catherine de Cassagnes.
We learn these facts from the original marriage contract, which is still in
possession of the family. In it Louis is called "Nobilissimus" and also "Capi-
taine ;" he could hardly have been less than twenty-five years of age at that time.
This document is of exceeding value and interest, being the only source of
information of the facts just related.
It tells that the marriage of the said Sieur deRousset and GabrieUe de Gondin
wa S "ordained for the glory of God and for the increase of the human race," that
it was to be solemnized in the afternoon, in the so-called ("pretendue") Reformed
Church of which they are both professors; and that "the banns should be pub-
lished according to the prescribed order of that Church." Then follows the
pre-nuptial settlement, upon GabrieUe and her children, of certain properties
and monies given to her as dowry by her grandmother de Cassagnes, who
seems to have been the fairy godmother of the young couple. So they set out
on life's voyage with every prospect of happiness and prosperity; enjoying
advantages of social rank, refined society and surroundings, and endowed with
wealth suitable to their station.
But the demands of military service were exacting, allowing little time for
domestic peace and quiet. Already a Captain, he was doubtless soon called back
to his post of duty, and three years later, February 18, 1674, we hear of him in
the Regiment of Navarre as Captain of a company of Lancers (see his Commis-
sion, signed Lotus). Tradition tells that during his long absence from home-
perhaps twenty years— his wife became totally blind. When again re-united,
she refused to recognize the husband whom she had so long mourned as dead,
*A11 dates marked with an asterisk* are approximate.
ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY
until aching on the tip of H. ear a hairy mole, her doubts vanished, and with
ewes of joyful recognition, she Ml fainting in his arms.
Tl676, \ friendly letter from Cardinal de Bensy »» ^se d 'otaj
Pvnerol Savoy ; and in 1677 he writes that he "went to Sicily. These letters
T:l!t, and though only detaehed items, are indicative of continuous serv.ee
"*JZ£%Xi«*. — *• *—«- - d Capt deR0U5 1'rt;
W*h many of his brother-effleers, he fled to Holland. C— oned by h
TovernTJ he joined the forces of William and Mary to fight ,n Ireland the
EE^f Protectant succession for Englaud, and fortunately was assigned to
^command of his old French General, Frederic Armand, Due de Schomberg,
W T" ^."'Lrved, dated Usbumc, January 16th, 16B9 and
signed' by'tt git Schomberg-whose autograpb lends J*-- **^J
rdocument-giving leave of absence for the benefit of his health. With
tanurTof others cl the army, he bad suffered from fever ,» "£-
DTndalk, after the siege of Carrtckfergns, in 1689, when nearly half of Sebum
bCr xt TZuTbS of the Boyne was fought duly 1st, of the same year, 169^
Here the noble, the good, the brave, Schomberg was billed. We can hardly
"tuna e acgriW of our Captain at the loss of his beloved friend and generaL
Ttne Lily archives is preserved an autographic.! letter b£ Tn*m Duo
de Sane dated February Uth, 1703-a personal friendly letter, which, with
leTf run , men of high'degree, shows how bigbly Capt. deRosset was regarded
K< — Frames mentioned in these papers tel, how largely^
nn!,y of Protestant England was recruited by Huguenot refugees who followed
^ « moreTwn to n, of the military life and service of Cap, deKosseb
B would be interesting to some future one of his name to search into b Army
A f Fncland if nerchancc further information might be obtained.
'T Doctors SllTn the "Private Acts" (H. Anne, Act II.), is thi, record,
~^c"7™ B<1 , Duke .. ■*-«•■«-, C^C'''^ £"l£.*S
ship between his family and that of the Duke.
ANNALS OF THE DE ROSS ET FAMILY
"In 1708, Louis deRosset, Peter Brozet and others were naturalized." And
still another, "In April 1725, Administration of goods &c of Ludovicus deRosset
was granted." These could hardly have been any other than our ancestor, and
we do not hesitate to accept the year 1725 as the date of his death.
At some period of his exile Capt. deRosset writes a statement which he calls
"Memoirs pour mes affaires de France." Only a fragment remains — neither
dated nor addressed — but it is interesting as throwing light upon some points of
Beginning with his departure from France, he continues, "I left because I
would not be made a Papist of." He mentions three estates he owns near
Uzes and Nines, viz: (1) Perignan, inherited from his father's sister, "my Aunt
La Niguiere de Janin," jointly with his Cousin deRosset de Montpelier ; (2) "La
Croix Monau," which, by his marriage contract, was settled upon his children
and could not be sold, and (3) The "De la Croix" estate, which came to him by
decree of the Court of Nines, after a lawsuit he had instituted against a fraudu-
lent debtor, one Bubod, the suit being decided in his (deRosset's) favor; he
enjoyed possession of it for four years before he left France, and his wife also
held it three years after, when the "perfidious thief" Fourneyron seized and now
holds it as his own, saying that "I gave it to him !" "He deprived my mother-in-
law (Mine, de Gondin) of it, and now it is necessary to demand of him the deeds
and rental of said land since the year 1688, less what he can prove to have legiti-
mately expended upon it." Fourneyron, his "man of business," had also been
his "guardian during his minority." He is clearly proved to have been both
treacherous and dishonest in all his dealings with him.
The mention of his mother-in-law alone being dispossessed of the estate indi-
cates that his wife, Gabrielle, may have died before the time he wrote, or that,
leaving her mother at their old home, she may have by this time joined him in
England. He speaks of her as his only wife, and of her child, Armand, as his
Whether any of his kindred were with him at the time of his death, we do not
know. But we believe that in the year 1725, "the strong, heroic spirit passed
away" and "God gave to His beloved sleep." May he rest in peace in his un-
known grave, till Christ Himself shall call him to the eternal rest promised to
those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake!
ARMAND JOHN deROSSET, M. D.
"The Father's love that led them through the past
At length in this good land their lot hath cast."
Dr. Armand John deRosset (1) (1695*-1760) my great-great-grand-
father, was the Huguenot immigrant and founder of the American family of his
name. He was the only son of the Huguenot exile of 1685, Capt. Louis deRosset,
and Gabrielle dc Gondin.
Of Dr. Armand's childhood nothing has come down to us but that he was a
native of France, Province of Narbonne, of the noble house of Ucetia. That he
was educated at famous schools of England and Belgium we are assured by the
testimony of his medical diploma, still extant. It is dated December 3, 17S0, and
was received from the University of Basel, Switzerland, one of the celebrated
institutions of learning in Europe. The great seal of the University is still
attached to it, enclosed in a metal box, and it is signed by the chief authorities
of the University — John Conrad, Bishop of Basel and Chancellor of the Univer-
sity, John Buxton, Rector, &c. ; is witnessed by John Henry Stechclius, Professor
of Anatomy and Botany and Dean of the University, and attested by John
George Schatzmaun, Notary. The graduate is styled "the most noble" and
"most learned" "Master Armandus deRosset," and it avers that he was judged
worthy to be admitted to a degree in Medical Science and to be honored with
the title of "Doctor."
My brother-in-law, Maj. Daves, when travelling in Europe a few years ago,
turned aside from the route he was pursuing to visit the University of Basel.
He was cordially welcomed by the faculty and was gratified to learn that Dr.
deRosset's name was still held in honored remembrance and that his thesis was
preserved in the Library.
The date of his birth Is not known, therefore wc can only guess at his age at
this time. He married in Switzerland a "Lady of the noble house of Ucetia"
(the modern Uzes), who, being of the same family, was probably a kinswoman
and, like himself, a Huguenot exile. It is certain that they returned to France
after he had graduated, for their two eldest children, Gabrielle and Louis Henry,
were born in Montpelier.
z ^ P
£ n a
■ . : I
-- ■ • :
•s« ■ ~Sl!*
ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY
He was called to England probably at the time of his father's death, and in
London, December 27, 1726, his youngest son, Moses John, was born.
It is not known what circumstances led Dr. Armand to come to North Carolina.
The tide of Huguenot immigration had well-nigh ceased, but many friends of his
father from the North of Ireland had come by that time, and may have induced
him to join them In the Cape Fear Colony. At any rate, about 1735, with his
1 if« and their three children, he arrived in Wilmington, then a small hamlet
of s<n ik' forty families, called New Liverpool.* At once taking his stand as a
public-spirited citizen, alive to the best interests of the Province, and educated
far beyond the standard of his fellows, he held positions of trust and honor in the
town councils, and practiced his healing art for the good of the community with
skill and profit. Grants of land were assigned to him in various parts of the
Province, and he became a large holder of real estate in the town and county.
Being a devoted member of the Church of England, as his father must have
been (since no record of his name exists in the Huguenot Church in London), he
threw all his energies towards the establishment of St. James' Parish and Church,
leading in every effort to build it on a sure foundation for the spiritual welfare of
his own and succeeding generations. He and his sons have been well called "the
founders of St. James." Truly docs Lord Bacon say, "The planting of a new
country is among the most heroic works of man."
So, in the strength of the trustful legend of their own escutcheon, "In Domino
Confido," these Roses of Provence were transplanted to the sunny shores of Caro-
lina, where the "lovely lady of Ucetia" was to become the mother of many
descendants. May they, each in his own life, maintain the noble principles of
their forefathers who "sought a better country, even an Heavenly." Emulating
their virtues and following their blessed examples, may they ever bear in mind
the proud motto so justly theirs by right of inheritance — "Noblesse Oblige."
Dr. DeRosset fixed his residence in Wilmington on Second street, between
Market and Princess; it was afterwards occupied by William Hooper, the
signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Madame deRosset was a lady of education and refinement, and of remarkable
beauty of person and loveliness of disposition. Her portrait in oil, with others
of the family, was among the few treasures brought from France and hung
in grand-pa's house many years. Being much defaced by time and travel, they
were consigned to the attic waiting the opportunity for restoration, but during
*Wilmington was incorporated in 1739 by Governor Gabriel Johnston and named by him in
compliment to his friend and patron, Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington.
ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY
the tables of the civil war they finally disappeared. Grand-pa's likeness to k»
grand-father was said to be striking, and the lovely features of "Ucetia" were
reproduced m those of her beautiful great-grand-daughter, "Polly" Toomer
In 1746, the brave, sweet wife passed into the rest of Paradise, and was buried
m the grounds of her home (there being as yet no church-yard), where years
later the partner of the joys and sorrows of her troubled life was laid beside her
Grand-pa has told us that in his childhood he played under an apple tree which
shaded their graves. April 13, 1751, five years after the death of his wife, Dr
deRosset married a second time. The lady of his choice was Elizabeth Catherine
Bndgen, a native of Bristol, England, and daughter of Samuel Bridgen, of Lud-
low Castle, Onslow (then New Hanover) County. She was an intimate friend of
the Burgwin famdy of the same place, and sister of Edward Bridgen, of the firm
of Bndgen & Waller, a commercial house of Bristol and London, which in
Colonial times had extensive business interests in the Province. She was a woman
of superior education and intelligence and great strength of character Her
masculine will dominated that of her good husband, whose fiery temper she
ruled in a way that would have been foreign to the nature of the gentle, courteous
Lady of Ucetia. She long survived him, and after his death retired to her
country seat, "the Chinese Temple," adjoining "the Hermitage." Politically she
was a "Tory." Some of her letters have been preserved, and though they have
no bearing upon our family history are worthy of being recorded here as interest-
ing pen and ink sketches of Colonial life in the time of the passing of the Royal
An anecdote of this lady I remember hearing is this: She had a remarkably
fine figure, but was very homely of feature. One day walking on the street her
stately mien attracted the attention of a drunken sailor, who for some distance
staggered after her, with many demonstrations of admiration, until, as she
entered a store and for a moment turned, the spell was broken and he hiccoughed,
"You were an angel to follow, but you are a devil to face." Imagine the irate
lady's disgust and indignation at hearing the unwelcome truth from such a
She had no children, and died in 1778 of malignant fever at her summer home
on Masonboro Sound.
Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. VI., page 385, tell that, in May,
1760, the Council assembled at Newbern appointed the successor of Dr. A. J.'
deRosset as Justice of the Quorum for New Hanover, "he being deceased."
His three children, Gabrielle, Louis Henry and Moses John, survived him.
ANNALS OF THE DE EOS SET FAMILY
GABRIELLE (deROSSET) duBOIS.
Gabrieile, only daughter of Armand J. deRosset, M. D., was born in Mont-
pelier, France, in 1722,* and died in Wilmington, N. C, March 29, 1755.
She in. November 24, 1741, John duBois, 1707-1767 (his second wife).
duBois and Walker.
The duBois family were Huguenots of Rochelle, France, who fled at the time
of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew (1572) to Holland, when Domine Petrus
duBois was a clergyman of Amsterdam. His son, Gualthemus (Walter)
duBois, b. in Stief-Keerk, July 20th, 1671, was called to the pastorate of the
Reformed Church in New York in 1699, and died there at the age of eighty
years, in October, 1751. Known as "the old Domine," he was so greatly beloved
and so universally respected that he is said to have been more like a Bishop
among the Dutch churches of his day than the Pastor of a single congregation.
He married Helena vonBaal, and had, among other children (who left no known
issue), Johannes or John, who m., as stated above, November 24, 1741, Gabrielle
deRosset. They had five children, of whom (1) Magdalene, (2) Louis and (3)
Moses, died in infancy, (4) Armand John, m. Magaret, daughter of his uncle,
Isaac duBois, and died without issue. He and his wife are interred in the
cemetery at Newburg, N. Y. The fifth child, Magdalene Margaret duBois,
b. February 19, 1755, d. November, 1827, m. January, 1770, Capt. James
Walker (1742-1808), third son of Robert and Ann Walker.
The families of deRosset and Walker are closely allied by repeated intermar-
riages through successive generations, resulting in ties of kinship and affection
to the present day.
Robert Walker, of Portaferry, Ireland, was a near kinsman of Rev. George
Walker, "the fighting parson of Londonderry," who was killed at the battle of
the Boyne (1690).
Robert m. Ann Montgomery Shearer, of the Montgomery family of Mt.
Alexander, and in 1738, with his wife, two sons and numerous retainers, emi-
grated to Wilmington, North Carolina. He was a prominent citizen, held the
office of Lord High Sheriff of New Hanover County (then a large tract of
country), was Justice of the Court of Appeals, &c, &c.
His children, born in Ireland, were: (1) William Montgomery, a citizen of
high repute and honor in the community, and (2) John, who m. in 1762, Mary,
ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY
daughter of William and Margaret Espey Lord. He was her fourth husband
and the father of her six children — among whom were Mary (Mrs. Vance) and
Ann (Mrs. McDonald), from whom are descended many of our most valued
kinspeople. Mrs. Walker m. a fifth time, George Meek, lived to a good old age,
and is remembered as "old Aunt Meek." (3) Margaret Walker (1728-1785)
m. in 1755, Louis Henry deRosset, King's Councillor — they had no issue. (4)
Ann Walker (1740-1) m. May 6, 1773, John Quince and had issue among others
Mary, who m. Col. Archibald F. McNeill. (5) James Walker (1742-1808) m.
January 18, 1770, Magdalene Margaret, dau. of John and Gabrielle (deRosset)
duBois. Issue (1) James W. (1770-1838) m. Mary Jane Toomer, (2) Harriet
(1784-1815) m. Edwin Jay Osborne, (3) Louise M. (1788-1855) m. Gen.
Joseph G. Swift, U. S. A., (4) Julius Henry (1793-1827) m. Mary W. McNeill.
FRAGMENTS OF OLD LETTERS OF MRS, EL1Z. CATH. deROSSET TO HER FRIEND
AND NEIGHBOR, MR. JOHN BURGWIN, OF "THE HERMITAGE," THEN IN
ENGLAND FOR HIS HEALTH.
Chinese Temfle,* Aug. 25th, 177,5.
I wrote you the other day by one Capt. Arthur. He intended sailing for London; but Mr.
Hogg sent him to Plymouth. I gave him a letter and packet for my brother. I enclosed your
letter (open) to Mr. B. and begged him to direct it to you wherever you were— in London,
Bristol or Bath. Whither the man has gone I cannot say, as I think he had not a fair wind. I
wrote to no one else but you and my brother, hut by this conveyance I shall write to everybody,
as the Lord only knows when an opportunity will be given again & it seems to me I am taking
my last leave of you all.
Mr. Grayhamf has got the fever and ague, but is now taking bark— like Mr. Burguin himself!
How does the lame leg do? Is it easy? is it strong? is it so civil as to let you bear any weight
upon it? is it glad it is in the "great Beehive?"
We have very little sickness as yet among us & no deaths. Mr. John Quince it is generally
believed has a grave-yard cough, and will soon go the way of all flesh. I think he has been going
the last fifteen years ! The Court of Admiralty I mentioned in my last was held at Brunswick-
out at the Fort J. The man gave £300 for his vessel— the thing was too plain to make a dispute.
The Gov,§ is still on board the Man-of-War, & Mr. Hasell, his Lieut., sticks by him. They
have intercepted many of his letters & memorials sent about to induce the back-country people
to take up arms. But his conduct, it is said, has been so extraordinary that it has united the
people & had a quite different effect from what he intended; & all the Companies that were at
variance with one another now muster together & are very friendly— or very deceitful. The
Artillery Co. joined the Independents & they perform their exercises together— this is what the
gentlemen tell me, & I must always depend on some of them for intelligence.
Capt. McLaine (who, by the way, is an ensign) is going to carry his wife & himself up the
N. West. He speaks such things as are disagreeable to the people & his friends, I believe, wish
•Mm, deRosset's country seat, eight miles N, of Wilmington, adjoining the Hermitage.
fMr. Grayham was Mr. Burguin's plantation manager.
JFort Johnston, at the mouth of the Cape Fear— Smithville then, but now Southport.
ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY
Mr Hoee tells me the people of Bogue did not use him ill, only some fellows on
h,m gone. Mr Hogg tells me tne p i k ^^ ^ fm ^ scraps of
the road were impertinent to him. I don t know . y » ^ ^ ^
intelligence, but, I would if I were m your p ace B ^« as ^ (in < Hhe
Point Pleasant will end in matnmony-by h» f^f^^T^ & ' if a Ladv WO uld do
harm to herself, she should * *« p g »™ .^ I think she must seem to
AS tt» T : h ! P J^rove. and Z is too sensible to trifle away his time without some
encourage when she disapproves, ana a* Nds(m is mope
approbation. In general people m ^^^f^^^S^te if Fanny loved
chatty and agreeable than ever^veu bef ore ^s M-tress l« 5uch a sigh
hira . Do you remember how ^^^^^2^^ are alT well-as much
or I will never speak to J™ **^*^ ne J 1 still in tow* * I believe have no
yours as ever, even the little Fanny """f 1 ™^ f intelligenC e-there everything
111 be there place of destination, & that en h» ""™' '^ J' 'J* ^pose „ iU be sonre-
Tha. will b, ,be MM -f i-N «- F *J- *g- ,., J» o( , , some ,„„„
SStE-MSii !*.*- f^S » «* SSs-*m * - » -
" We"L p-odiaious Ct.ps - — «■ Mrf-lSl57 SiVSn.l«
The corn also will be very line it these deluges of ram do not .poll we y
little hoys if you are near^ them.+f • • * bec „„ ing « resident of this place, If these
Mr. John Boyd-Adan, Boyd's brother-talks of u ,1 hirnself-be
American affaire be settlcd-he goes to Plymouth-tat talks ol go.ng
is a sensible man. * watch and vard— not of men that
They have made an addition of t-p,^ ^bLn ve £ ^ some of then,
.rumble a little, but stdl they do it I Y«m C»B ^ once, e q (lrimkenn , ss there used to be.
robbing of stores-^ery negro at home - ^^ed and her child dead. Mrs Jack
"Sofar-so-good I M rs - * om " ■ . . „ G kie Mr . Lord of Brunswick talks
„„ k „ ta M, eareied U, M. *M» J~ -t-MM-l* P-** •*-* J»
„f taking that just left by Mrs. Y. aiKer what wiU bwome of
of coming up here soon, if the ■j*" — * J J££ M , s but iittle, but I believe makes
us! Mrs. Humphrey has her heatth e* t.e.nel wdL MM ^^ ^^
11 " " itU "**. f^LlW^^ 2- English peaches for me this
2rKsrffi!rs« ~ s ^ a, ** as g oo d as » ^ »
a ^ -f ^'remarkable old lady of J — - S-tWTST ^
May God Almighty hold you in His b.h«NW & fc yr ^ ^
Eliz. Catii. deRosset.
**The Waddell family. ih,r««ta sent to England to be educated.
ffGen. Hugh Waddell's orphan sons, wards of Mr. Burguin, sent a g
ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY
Chinese Temple, Sept. 10, 1T75.
* * * This, I fear, will be my very lasl for a long time. * * * I ventured same days ago
to give Mr. Grayham some advice about your corn fields. You must know that a violent storm
ushered in the month of Sept. it lasted a whole night & great part of next day. It began in
the east and came around to N. E. with great violence. The fine promising crops of corn are
all down within half a foot of the ground. Now a-s my experience has taught me that the
weight of the top helps greatly to bend it down, I advised Mr. G. to cut them off & told him
that the corn would soon right itself. He said that fodder he had got was ruined & the
Hermitage was half under water — the bridges all carried off and he was obliged to go to Castle
Haynes by water — the roads everywhere are almost impassable. This storm was a great hind-
rance to vessels loading & they are not to be brought up again — petiaugers sinking and running
on shore — three poor sailors drowned — no negroes lost though many in danger. * * *
The Committee talked of permitting the shipping Monday & Tuesday to finish their loading
because they shant work Sunday — it being the 10th ! Who more religious than our Wilmington
folk! Mr. Hayes goes to the W. Indies — will remain there till he is permitted to return. * * *
Perhaps you will be surprised to hear Mr. Hogg is in England. He was one of your "non-
conformed to the times" — & so made off. He first attempted it at Bogue, but they would not
let him go. He then came home, mustered with the rest upon the hill, but took his opportunity
when Capt. Arthur was ready, to go. 'Tis said he carries the Governor's despatches.
I begin to think your lame leg wasn't so unlucky just now. Had you been here you must
have declared yourself of one party or the other, you must have taken your turn on Hie watch;
and you must have mustered. Your property would have been very insecure — as it is the case
is otherwise. You are one of your (?) now. You cannot confess to anything because you are
incapable. No one will be so cruel as to harm the property of an infirm man, who was drove
home by a dreadful accident, to get cured. I think I could plead very well in a case like
yours. My gouty foot is beter, & presents its compliments to your lame one. Would you
change complaints with me? Col. Howe* says he would not.
All the world is at Hillsboro and nothing they have done has yet transpired. 1 can give you
no information. 'Tis thought they intend to raise 2000 men upon pay, & you will come in for
your quota of the expense tho' in England — and so must poor I, thugh their laws have
already taken from me £96 pr. annum in the one article of cooperage, besides the loss they
will occasion in the hire of my other servants, which will lessen as the distress of the place
increases, & I shall have no resource of any kind. Still I have resolution to bring my mind
to my interests, if they will but leave me the little house over my head and not frighten me out
of my senses. * * * Things must go a great way before I fly my own house, as I presume the
moment I do so it might be pillaged,
I forgot to tell you in its place as I designed, that Mr. Hogg has been up again to town & has
wrote a very genteel letter to Mr. Hooper, He has also left a hundred lbs, sterling for the
use of the public. Mr. Hogg is a very clever gentleman & may now carry as many despatches
as he pleases. And now let me whisper in your ear; — it is a matter of wonder that Mr. Burguin
had not done some such thing before he left, or left orders to have it done. I assure you this
was no bad policy in Mr. Hogg— it will most effectually secure his property, and retrieve what
he has lost with the public. Mr. Tom Hooper has lost his wife—he has come to live in my
neighborhood at Mr. John Moore's. Mrs. George of that name is enciente again!
Your friends at the Lodge are very well — but so distant I never see them, now and then the
Dr. calls, chats, & drinks small beer with me. Poor London looks mighty down upon the times
—but don't speak. * * * * Yours, &c, E. C. deRosset.
Mr. J. Burguin, London.
*General Robert Howe, whose home was burned by the British.
Page Thirty -Two
ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY
a Jm T bU - rf " g , fr ° m thC " War ° f the R «8^tors» had become very alarming
at the Hermitage. She writes him thus: B
wilVf " Sucb S reat T ei 7 ts ha ™ certainly the hand of God in them, to bring about His own
Zide rrr - 1 ^vsr ^ ^^ ^ ^ aU - „ de si gned g bv GO d- s gj
prov.lence for the benefit of the whole in SO me future age of the world, tho' at present
mj urmus to the individual. And what am I, or what my Father's house that I should be exZ
me God! But md«d I am a coward-I never knew how much of one before this trial I never
wished to be a man before last month. Dr. Cobham wishes to be a woman. Had ' not been
s tlti ;l LhT ; , ave g r straight to cast,e n ^ * **> ^ * *™JEz
Trt /k J bemg al ° ne m the Counir y- The ° ther da y 200 Regulators -as they
style them-came down a, far as Beauford's Bridge in order to make the merchant!* in
S'cular Jack Moore, se.l their goods cheaper. M, Moore went to me Them conferr d
w th them & I SU pp ose pacified theni-they returned home again. I assure you these arTthe
folks I stand most in dread of. I hear that the County has come to a resolution hat f he
srTeT ff fTr^-' ° F ^ King ' S tr °°P S d ^°y h — s, towns or private property &
pare the effects of the King's officers & servants, not a house (of the Royalists) shall be eft
£ ^o perhaps I ^all have the fate of the fish that jumU out o/the frying P an ,nt
R^erfL on his way ^E^S ' ^ " ^^ * * ** «* "" *" & ^
wished to £ Mrs. Grayham an MnoraMe post **** u, but i could not th n of detadi"
a lady who ha, been so extremely civil to me-besides she is much too tall for such an office
Mr G so good as to let me use my own linen, & 'tis washed by my own e van s Thotm'
I don break your family rules I *«* a dish of Tea in my L. dETZj J2S
leal" say you, 'do you have Tea'" Vm f*„iir i j„) v . , ouo'y mvrmng.
sympathy with th P hZ f ' t , y d ° ! Y ° U must know Sir ' that whether from
sympathy with the times, or not— I can't say— but certainly on the 10th Sent T «« * t,
very sick & indeed not only looked so, but was very ill. I thought if could drmk La I ' JSS
recover much sooner, but as I did not choose to do this in priTatTl ft *S I ^ £
* -At^ss^zrar.5 * -isr- n h n - this
To Mr. John Burguin, London. ' ' C ' DERosaET -